Client Service Associate
The season of gratitude is upon us when the calendar flips to November. Gratitude is something we should practice every day, but it seems to come easier once November hits and Thanksgiving is around the corner. If you are looking to practice more gratitude in your life this holiday season, here are a couple ideas to help you start!
Start a Gratitude Pumpkin with your family. This can create a daily conversation and celebration around the things you are most grateful for. Here are the things you will need:
- Keep a non-cut pumpkin on your kitchen table with a sharpie so you remember to write on it.
- Every evening during dinner, discuss with your family what you are grateful for.
- Start at the top of the pumpkin and write, We are grateful for… or We are thankful for…
- After each dinner write 1-3 things in a spiral around the pumpkin, starting with the most important things you are grateful for, such as family, friends or health.
- After the most important things are covered, add in the silly things you are grateful for such as coffee, 2-day delivery or dark chocolate.
- By the end of November, your pumpkin will be filled with everything you are thankful for and you will have a great centerpiece for Thanksgiving dinner!
- If you celebrate Thanksgiving with other families, invite them to join your new tradition and bring their gratitude pumpkin to Thanksgiving so you can all share what you are thankful for!
Challenge yourself to do 30 days of gratitude journaling. Here are some prompts you could use:
- A person I’m glad to have in my life
- Something I find comfort in
- My favorite part of the morning
- My favorite memory
- An accomplishment I’m proud of
- A hidden blessing in a difficult situation
- An opportunity I’m grateful for
- A life lesson I have learned
- The biggest gift in my life right now
- A future event I am excited about
- Some positive news I have gotten recently
- A memory that makes me smile
- Something beautiful I saw today
- My favorite part of the evening
- One good thing that happened today
- How I show gratitude for my friends
- Something I love about a family member
- A challenge I’m grateful for
- A compliment that made me feel good
- The best gift I’ve ever received
- The item I treasure most
- The people who mean the most to me
- My favorite part about nature
- Something that made me laugh today
- A book that I loved reading
Starting a gratitude journal can feel overwhelming if you have never journaled before. The best thing you can do is figure out what works best for you and go with it! Some people enjoy filling a notebook with all their thoughts and others prefer to use a computer because they can type faster than they can write. The bottom line is pick what works for you.
After you have figured out how you will journal, pick the best time for you to journal. It could be first thing in the morning after you wake up, it might be on your lunch break at work or it could be the last thing you do before you go to sleep at night.
I decided to start my gratitude journaling in October so I would have some experiences to share. Here is what I found: I enjoy journaling in the evening before I go to sleep. I find that I can use the experiences I went through in my day to find gratitude, even if at the time I didn’t feel very grateful. I like to write my thoughts in a journal but will take notes on my phone if something happens during the day that I don’t want to forget. The prompts I have listed above are a great resource and starting point. I keep a copy in the front of my journal so I can refer to them if I can’t think of something to write about.
Every year around the Thanksgiving table, my family shares what they are most grateful for. This is a tradition my mom started when I was young and is something we continue to do, even though some family members roll their eyes when we start going around the table. After the year we have had, we still have so much to be grateful for and I think we will have something new added to the gratitude list: video chatting!